OK, as we all know, I'm going to live till I'm 85 years old. And we all know what year it is now. Which means, by the simple calculations I'm able to do, that my death year is 2038. (Depending on when my birthday is, it could go a certain extent into 2039, but you wouldn't really think I'd wait till the very last possible day, but who knows?)
I wonder what 2038 will be like for me, knowing what I know. It's a weird thing to contemplate, but I do believe it's still better to know. Because it frees me up in all the other years so I don't have to worry about it. It's a blessing knowing no random diseases are going to kill me till then -- very freeing. And I promise not to pray for an extension beyond 85, so 2038 (or into 2039) will be it.
I can't guarantee, though, that I won't be a little weird if it does come down to the very last day of my 85th year. Because I can't picture it just being a minute after midnight when I turn 85. Since I'd likely be in bed, and I fully expect to be conscious for death. How about right after morning coffee? I make coffee around 5:40. I might tarry a little longer and enjoy my last cup. But what's the use of just one cup, when I have a full pot? It could be I'll drink it to the last drop, then go.
Or, it could be I'll live through lunch. But why eat if I'm going to die? I don't eat just for the enjoyment of it, but for sustenance, which implies a future. I've always thought the stupidest thing they do on Death Row is give the prisoners a last meal. It's a waste of food and time, watching the guy sop up the last bits of gravy.
That day, if I linger, I might make it till mid-afternoon. It actually makes sense that I would. My baby book says I was born around 3:30 p.m., so what time for my death would be more logical than that? It's probably encoded in my DNA. Still, there's no guarantee.
It could be the good Logos field will want me to have the beauty of a nice evening. I always love evenings -- a beautiful sunset, then the first appearing of the stars, the very last stars I'll ever behold in this present body. We came from the stars; that's also in my DNA. I can see my old withered body reaching for them, then die and mysteriously wing my upward flight, just a slow purposeful flapping upwards, mounting ever up, past the highest church steeples, and vanish in the great beyond.
Or, as we get later, maybe I will yet linger while time presses on. Between 8 and midnight, I see no reason to sleep. I'll probably go to my bookcase and say farewell to some old friends. I love the great authors. You know the ones. I can see me touching the spines of those great books, saying goodbye to each one and "See ya soon!" By now I'm wiping away a tear or two, thinking, "Today my precious treasures on the shelf, tomorrow 5 for a dollar at Goodwill."
If I make it to 10 or 11 -- I know I'll be tired, and yet surely I'll be easily revived. It can't be long now. Between 11 and 12, if it comes to that, I can see myself deep in prayer, and maybe even singing the old spiritual song I used to sing in church:
"Build me a cabin in the corner of gloryland,If I'm still here as it nears 12, I'm reaching out my arms. Old feeble arms I could barely lift at 80. Now they're sturdy and strong, as if iron, as I await my deliverance. Just before midnight, then, I ascend, my body falling gently, in slow motion, to my couch.
In the shade of the tree of life that it may ever stand
Where I can hear the angels sing and shake Jesus' hand,
Build me a cabin in the corner of gloryland."